Holiday Vegan Cheese Platter
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2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 lemon, juiced 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
̈3 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tbsp psyllium husk (optional, to help with binding) 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder 1⁄2 tsp onion powder Black poppy seeds (optional, for sprinkling)
Drain soaked cashews and add to food processor along with minced garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, psyllium husk, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down 2 layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel). Scoop cashew mix onto cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a “disk.” Secure with a rubber band.
Place cheese in refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12 hours or overnight, until excess moisture has been wicked away and it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth. (I left mine in the fridge overnight.)
To serve, unwrap from cheese cloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Re-form with hands as needed, then sprinkle with poppy seeds to coat. (Handle gently as the cheese is soft.) Enjoy with fresh cut vegetables, fruits and crackers.
Cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the refrigerator, but is best when chilled. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Cover with cheese cloth or a clean towel to stop from drying out.
If you’re pressed for time, soak the cashews in boiling hot water to speed the process of soaking, letting soak for 11⁄2 hours instead of soaking overnight. Drain and proceed with recipe as instructed.